Thank you for experiencing The Mortality Machine
You chose the
Your choices allowed you to overcome all odds and find the rarest of things in this world… a happy ending.
As part of the experiences, the participants determine what actually happened five years ago. All of the individuals, objects and locations you encountered were purposely ambiguous, so that we could accept your perspective on what was happening. Based on what you believed was going on, the experience would react, so that your decisions would not only determine your fate, but the very nature of the world.
When you entered Schumacher Lab, you met numerous hardships, but endured the device, strange messengers, and death itself. You learned to communicate with your departed loved ones, and most importantly, you learned to listen. By sharing in the dance of triumph at the end, you all survived the Mortality Machine. But how? Was the device some sort of magical portal that offered both peril and opportunity? Or perhaps none of you ever escaped, and your happy ending is the final result of Dr. Schumachers experiment? This is for you to decide.
We hope you enjoyed the experience. If you're curious to learn one of the other endings, we invite you back again to see what changes with the next group of participants.
Johnny Balogh - Daan Bootsma
Daan began dancing at the age of 8 in Alkmaar, The Netherlands, at Grapelli Dance Studios. He started out doing street dance and jazz classes then later attended Lucia Marthas Institute for Performing Arts in Amsterdam, where he studied musical theatre, latin/ballroom, show-dance, hiphop, modern, acting and singing. During his studies in Amsterdam, he danced with Samadhi Dance Company, performing in shows for national TV and concert halls. After working with Hollands Showballet for a year, Daan moved to New York City to study at the Ailey School, where he became a scholarship student. In the same year he joined New York Dance Project where he danced for a season. Over the summer he attended Springboard Danse Montreal, where he performed works by Maxine Doyle and Michael Getman. This season he started working with Overground Physical Theater and Dance Entropy Inc.. Most recently he has been cast in The Mortality Machine. He has performed works by Darshan Singh Bhuller, Anthony Burrell, Laurent Flament, Bob Fosse (staged by Valarie Pettiford), Tyler Gilstrap, Gabrielle Lamb, Tara Masimer and Ray Mercer.
The Barrister - Isaac Conner
Isaac is a stage, screen, and voice actor/director, based in NYC since the beginning of 2018. Prior to being a NYC actor, he left CA in 2010 to be closer to family in rural PA. There, he worked in computer programming, founded Billtown Burlesque, worked with the majority of the region's theatre companies and college media departments, was an adjudicator for the region’s high school awards, and began his professional acting career by traveling regularly to the major cities of PA’s neighboring states. Previous roles include Ben Franklin (1776), Tom (Dinner With Friends), Leon Czolgosz (Assassins), and his favorite role as Rev. John Hale (The Crucible). Isaac thanks his PA theatre family for teaching him so much, as they all directly helped him grow as an actor in his life’s true love; theatre. And he feels honored to be part of The Mortality Machine!
Elizabeth Friend - Julia Jurgilewicz
Julia is a native of Massachusetts where she trained at the Gold School. She earned a BFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and has since performed in NYC, nationally, and abroad. She has worked with Third Rail Projects in the immersive theater productions Then She Fell and The Grand Paradise. She performed in Cendrillon, Parsifal, Don Giovanni, and Aida at The Metropolitan Opera as well as in works by Mark Dendy, Johannes Wieland, Jillian Peña, LEVYdance, Erica Essner Performance Co-op, Suzanne Beahrs Dance, Dishman and Co., and The Anata Project, to name a few. Julia currently dances with Liz Gerring Dance Company and also works as a personal trainer at Uplift Studios.
Omi Johnson - Liz Law
Liz is a twenty somethin’, Southern-bred nomad who discovered her love for movement many moons ago. She is an evolving performer who is constantly exploring her own (perceived) limitations. She has immense gratitude for her classical ballet beginnings and has used that training to fall in love with pole and aerial arts. She is a proud creative partner at Sydnie L. Mosley Dances where she has the pleasure of being fully womyn, fully Black, and fully human through dance. She is a humble yoga instructor at Sacred Brooklyn in Bedstuy and an Arts Organizer + Administrator through PURPOSE Productions. She couldn't be happier to be joining the cast of the Mortality Machine!
The Reporter - Rita McCann
Rita is delighted to be a part of The Mortality Machine team. Favorite NYC credits: Romeo & Juliet (The Paradise Factory), RED (First Person Experience), The Unseen, Freaks Don’t Cry, and Beloved/Departed (Linked Dance Theatre), The House of Yes (The Bridge Theatre), Richard III (Lenfest Center), and Os Confederados (Schapiro Theatre). Catch Rita in the short film “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” premiering this winter. Love to cast, crew, family, and J.
The Psychopomp - Kelsey Rondeau
Kelsey was born into a military family and grew up all over the country. They discovered their love of performing at a young age, and began performing in musical theater in grade school. From there, they studied Dance at the University of Texas at Austin; it was there that they performed works by Ohad Naharin, Paul Taylor, Robert Battle, Mark Morris, and Merce Cunningham, among others. After graduating with a BFA in 2014, they studied contemporary dance at Tanzfabrik Berlin. After two years in Germany, they returned to the United States in 2016, and finally settled in Brooklyn. Since then, they have worked with BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance, AnA Collaborations, Johannes Wieland, and The Movement Playground, in addition to performing their own works, Dance This Mess Around, and After You’ve Gone. They are also partaking in Mare Nostrum Elements’ Emerging Choreographers Series with the creation of their new work I Don’t Know How to Love Him in the spring of 2019. They are extremely thrilled and grateful to be taking part in The Mortality Machine.
Sam Travers - Jessy Smith
Jessy is a New York City based performance artist. Her choreography has been presented by Steelstacks @ Musikfest, The Spring Street Social Society, The Box NYC, in Blue Rodeo’s music video “Dust to Gold,” and for over 10 years at the DanceNOW Festival. She is currently a member of the immersive theater company Third Rail Projects and has been featured in numerous company works including Then She Fell, Ghost Light, Behind the City and The Grand Paradise, where she also served as Rehearsal Director. Other projects include: A. Human, Boardwalk Empire, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE! and The Broadway Dance Lab. This is Smith's debut with Sinking Ship Creations. She holds a BFA in dance from NYU. jessy-smith.tumblr.com
The Partici-"Plant" - Jennifer Suter
Jennifer is originally from Texas with a BFA in Theatre Performance. In addition to several Secret Cinema and Future Cinema immersive productions, Jennifer acted in The Revelation of Bobby Pritchard at the Greenwich Theatre while in London. Here in NYC, she has performed as Dr. Portia Ellis in The War Machine (Off-Broadway) as well as various other roles at the Theater for the New City, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Dixon Place, etc. She has also acted in numerous film projects including Paternoster Productions’ award-winning short Still Falling, Cinetax Studios’ feature The Killer in the House, Shtick Figure’s series Under InspeKtion, as well as her own series Experience Curve. For more information, please visit www.SincerelySuter.com.
The Homeless Man - Rafael Svarin
was born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland and right away launched his acting career in the role of "Newborn" where he convincingly pretended to be happy to have been ripped out his comforting mother's womb only to be thrown into this nasty world with nothing but his naked body to express what his mind thinks. During the next few safe and quiet, yet mostly happy years he learned to perfect his technique and skills in order to be prepared for the ordeals of puberty and high school. He survived. Barely. After breaking his back, back in 2010, Rafael decided to move to New York to break a leg - in the hopes of ending up in a cast for a long time… He ended up in a few casts since arriving to this concrete jungle of opportunists and keeps breaking legs and the bank. All in good spirit, of course. Rafael is very exited to be part of an amazing, innovative theater show combining play pretend for adults (aka LARP) and site-specific dance to allow the audience to become the story’s protagonists. After all, that's less work for the actors, ey? To read this bio again in a different font and color with a cool picture in the background, go to www.rafaelsvarin.com - you'll also find some other cool stuff there.
Words - Ryan Hart
Ryan would claim to be a tinker, a tailor, a soldier, and a spy, but in truth he couldn’t hem a pair of pants. He developed his interest in storytelling as a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy, where he discovered theatre as part of the Academy’s Bluebard’s Theater Troupe. His live-action career has taken him from California to New York, producing over two dozen events in four states, as well as running events for hundreds (and one time, thousands) of people. Outside of live-action roleplay, Ryan is a pilot with over 1,500 hours over Iraq and Afghanistan, and a member of the Board of Trustees of both the Barrow Group and the Falcon Theater Program. He also has a teenage daughter who wants to be a writer one day, or so her instagram says.
Dance - Lara Marcin
Lara’s heart is easily captured by unabashed grooves. From dancing to the musical sounds of a toilet flush as an infant, Lara has been moved to take dance with her wherever she goes. Lara’s choreography experience includes tour choreography for The Chainsmokers and Zhu, fashion choreography for Zhu’s Nightday Collection, music video choreography in a variety of genres, and artistic direction for the LA-based experimental performing arts company, Sokamba. Lara complements her dance pursuits with live production, producing or working as a production assistant for shows, festivals, and concerts. When work is on pause, Lara can be found in nature or having lengthy conversations with loved ones (or strangers).
Design - Tommy Honton
Tommy was born at a young age in Kansas. He attended Washington University in Saint Louis and majored in Classics and Psychology with a minor in Film & Media Studies. After college, Tommy moved to Los Angeles where he writes, designs games and experiences, co-hosts a podcast, and trains his cats to do fun and interesting tricks. He is also the co-creator of the critically-acclaimed escape room Stash House, the interactive exhibition The Museum of Selfies, and a founding member of the League of Experiential Artists.
Production Design - Orli Nativ
Orli Nativ is a theatrical designer, artisan and mixed-media artist. Passionate about the exploration of stories and interdisciplinary approaches to art-making, her pursuit of costume as wearable story has given her an expansive, exploratory design approach leading to wider ranging projects: from puppets and found-object sculpture to opera, theatre, dance and even the creation of costumes in live flowers. Selected New York credits include: “Cut Throat” (Abingdon Theatre Company), "Cool Hand Luke" and "Deliverance" (Godlight Theatre Company), "The Chocolate Show!" (Off B'way), “The Trial of Typhoid Mary” (Live in Theater), and “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” (Piper Theatre). Orli is partner in Extra Dimensional Studios, which focuses on providing bespoke, detail-oriented design services for people, events, decor, products and spaces. Everything from 3D printing to custom millinery, concept creation to project management. IG:@orlidesign www.orlinativ.com
Scenic Design - Wildrence
For the storytellers of the world, Wildrence is the premier experiential space and consulting studio that gives both creators and audiences one of a kind, end-to-end experiences. Designing with layers of adventure, storytelling, and sensory engagement, we seek to build an inspiring world.
Yvonne Chang and Jae Lee studied Architecture at Cornell before moving to NYC. After working a few years at different architecture firms, their passion to make small scale accessible design drove them to take the leap into entrepreneurship. Since then, they have been developing various projects that showcase their abilities in transforming how one experiences interactive design. Wildrence was founded not only to create, but inspire people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone.
Daniel Tan - Executive Producer
Jason Knox - Exceutive Producer
Sergey Kasich - Technical Director
Alex Young - Fabrication
Terry Guldimann - Fabrication Assistant
Weston Harper - Physical Computing
Bret Lehne - Carpenter
Emily Owens PR - Press Agent
Jenny Tibbels - Marketing
Sergey Kasich, Kevin Kim, Yo-Yo Lin - Technicians
Videography: Banana Chan
Documentarian: Emily Kaye, Anna White
Photography: Zach Filkoff, Liz Paulie
Credits: Ryan Duff
Visual Design: Allegra Durante, Taran Lopez
Original Music: Terra Warman